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Mayor Condon declines controversial salary increase

It was news that sparked controversy last week, but now Spokane Mayor David Condon says he is declining a salary increase.

Mayor Condon said city officials strive everyday to keep the City Government affordable and said he is declining the salary increase to show support for the ongoing public discussion about the cost of city government.

Mayor Condon's decision comes after he received scrutiny from the City Council last week.

In the proposed budget, Mayor Condon would make close to $180,000. To put that in perspective, that's more than Governor Jay Inslee's salary.

"As we have started this conversation over the last week, as I've talked to our citizens, the cost of government is at the top of their mind and it is mine," Condon said.

The 2011 voter-approved City Charter states that the mayor will make as much money as the highest paid city employee. Right now, that's Police Chief Frank Straub.

At first, the Mayor pushed back against the Council's complaints, citing the law, saying he was legally obligated to take the increase. But now, he says, under legal review he has figured out a way to not take the raise.

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Ice Palace opening delayed for warm temperatures

Ice Palace opening delayed for warm temperatures

Mother Nature is forcing the Ice Palace in Riverfront Park to delay it's opening a week to October 29, and possibly even later.

“We are eager to have the Ice Palace open for everyone to enjoy and know we'll have some people disappointed the weather hasn't allowed us to open as originally scheduled,” said Riverfront Park Assistant Manager Debby Dodson.

This great warm weather isn't something that could have predicted four months ago when the planning process took place.

“We hope for the best fall conditions a the right time, and remarkably, what we have now is more like summer conditions,” Dodson said.

It takes six or more consecutive days of cooler weather for installation, and at least average fall temperatures to sustain the ice rink. Rushing the installation during less-than-ideal conditions could set back the opening an additional two weeks and ring up extra labor and supply costs.

Spokane County ballots mailed today and tomorrow

Spokane County ballots mailed today and tomorrow

Heads up voters, the Spokane County Elections Office is mailing more than 275,000 ballots this week.

If you are a registered voter and do not receive a ballot by Friday, October 24, please contact the Spokane County Elections Office at (509) 477-2320 for a replacement ballot. If you are not a registered voter in the State of Washington, you have until Monday, October 27 to register in person at the Elections Office at 1033 W. Gardner.

If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked no later than Election Day – Tuesday, November 4. It is important that you check the pickup time on the mail box to ensure you are not too late. If the last pickup of the day has already been made, please take your ballot to the county's ballot drop boxes located at all city and county libraries, the STA Plaza and the Elections Office. Drop boxes are opened on October 16 and closed promptly at 8 pm on Election Day.

Free IHOP Scary Face pancake on Halloween

Free IHOP Scary Face pancake on Halloween

Looking for a special way to celebrate Halloween with your Ghosts and Ghouls? IHOP wants to help kick off the festivities with a free Scary Face pancake for all kids 12 and under on October 31.

From 7 am to 10 pm, each child can receive one of IHOP's buttermilk pancakes decorated with a whipped topping smiles and eyes and a strawberry nose. Then kids can use a kit of delicious toppings – eight pieces of candy corn and two mini Oreos – to finish decorating the face however they choose.

If you can't make it on Halloween, don't worry too much – the Scary Face pancake is available as a regular menu item all month long.

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Spokane Humane Society under voluntary quarantine

Spokane Humane Society under voluntary quarantine

The Spokane Human Society is placing itself under a voluntary, 14-day quarantine after receiving two animals infected with deadly and highly contagious diseases at the shelter.

The quarantine began immediately after a 1-year-old dog tested positive for Parvovirus and a 5-month-old kitten tested positive for Feline Distemper. Both are highly contagious viral diseases and are potentially life-threatening to their hosts.

“The closure will allow our cats and dogs to be properly observed,” said Executive Director Dave Richardson. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of the animals in our care at the shelter. Taking this measure will help reduce the chance of spreading the disease. We ask for the public's patience and understanding.”

Working 4 you: Teal pumpkins hope to make Halloween less scary

Halloween can be tough for kids with food allergies, and that's why one organization wants Halloween to go teal this year.�

The Teal Pumpkin Project comes from the Food Allergy Research and Education Organization, who hopes to make Halloween a little less scary.�

Popular food allergies for kids include dairy, nuts and soy, some with potentially deadly effects. Unfortunately, a lot of Halloween candy includes these ingredients.�

That's why the organization started the Teal Pumpkin Project, encouraging people to put a teal pumpkin outside their door if they are offering non-food related treats for kids with allergies.�

The group suggests giving small toys, stickers and crayons as an option instead.�

The idea is getting a huge online response. The group's first Facebook post reached 2.7 million people in just 72 hours.�

But if you do want to give out "safe" Halloween candy instead of toys, make sure it's in a different bowl so it can't be contaminated.�

Spokane beauty queen with a heart of gold

Spokane beauty queen with a heart of gold

A Spokane beauty queen hopeful wants to use her platform as Miss Nine Mile Falls to spread an important message about inner beauty and self respect to youth across the state.

Rebecca DeLong says it was her rough high school experience that makes this message so dear to her heart.

“I was really badly bullied growing up,” DeLong said. “I was told that I wasn't worth it, that I was fat and that I didn't have the look to be on the cheer squad. It really got to my heart.”

DeLong says she struggled with both self harm and an eating disorder before entering the pageant track and making an important realization.

“It took me getting involved in pageants to realize that I need to love myself,” she said. That discovery and the pain it helped her to overcome is what is encouraging her to continue competing and hopefully launch her non-profit organization – tentatively named Girls United – in a few months.